The ’80s are back, and I’m soaking in them.
This week’s episode of Someone Else’s Movie sets it up, as my guest Carolyn Taylor — whom you’ll know from Baroness Von Sketch Show, and a dozen other things — brings Colin Higgins’ 1980 comedy 9 to 5 to the show, unpacking its only slightly satirical take on workplace sexism at the dawn of the Reagan administration (and celebrating the combined farcical power of Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton) as I try to figure out how it connects to her six-part Crave reality series I Have Nothing. (Spoiler: It doesn’t, but you should watch the show anyway.)
And then you can join me for a trip through ’80s American genre cinema at the Lightbox on Friday, where I’m launching my very first series for TIFF Cinematheque: The Disreputables, a look at films that used their pulp status as cover so they could tackle the very real social and political issues of the day, and predict where the world was going. Movies like RoboCop and The Stuff and C.H.U.D. and The Running Man — you get it, right?
It all kicks off this Friday at 6:30 pm with Kathryn Bigelow’s Blue Steel, a film that gives Jamie Lee Curtis one of the best roles of her career as a rookie cop stalked by a maniac with a stolen gun — and not so incidentally digs into the misogyny and authoritarianism baked into Hollywood action movies of the time. We’ve got a 35mm print. It’s going to be a great night.
The ’80 also pop up in Shiny Things, since Criterion’s splendid new Blu-ray edition of La Bamba is one of several restorations I reviewed over the weekend; I also covered Orson Welles’ The Trial and Shout! Studios’ new 4K edition of Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers, if you’re curious. That column was only for paid subscribers, though, so if you want to read it … well, you know what you need to do, right?